1st Pitch: Quick hits from around the majors

July, 20, 2010
7/20/10
3:30
PM ET
Today’s Trivia: Alex Rodriguez is two home runs shy of becoming the seventh player in baseball history with 600 career HR. Who has the second-most HR among players with the first name Alex?

Quick Hits: A quick look at some newsworthy hits from around baseball:

From the Houston Chronicle: Jason Castro's three-run blast in the third inning was the first home run of three or more runs by a catcher since Brad Ausmus hit a grand slam Aug. 5, 2006 at Arizona.

From the Boston Herald: Since he blew back-to-back saves June 23-24 in Colorado, Jonathan Papelbon has pitched 7 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings and gone five-for-five in save opportunities. Dating to last season, he has converted 34-of-37 save chances.

From ESPNChicago.com: Alex Rios hit his 100th career home run Monday, a two-run shot in the fifth inning against the Seattle Mariners. After just five games it has already been a milestone second half for Rios. He connected on his 1,000th career hit Thursday at Minnesota.

From the Detroit News: Armando Galarraga is 1-1 with a 5.61 ERA in six starts since the Jim Joyce game, but the Tigers are 5-1 in those starts. Just back from Toledo, this will be just his second start for the Tigers since June 29.

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Albert Pujols had his 100th double at Busch Stadium III, which now gives him more doubles at two of the ballparks the Cardinals have called home than Hall of Famer Stan Musial.

From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Ronny Cedeno has been torrid the past five games since the Pirates ended his platoon at shortstop with Bobby Crosby. In that span, Cedeno is 11 for 18 with six extra-base hits, five runs scored and two RBI.

From the South Florida Sun-Sentinel: Hanley Ramirez's bunt single during the Marlins' three-run third off Ubaldo Jimenez produced his first RBI since July 5, only his second this month. At his current pace, Ramirez would finish with 95, 11 fewer than last year.

From the Philadelphia Daily News: On May 21, against the Red Sox at Citizens Bank Park, Jayson Werth went 2-for-4 with a homer, a couple of runs scored and a pair of RBI in a win over the Red Sox. The Phillies' rightfielder was hitting .329 with nine home runs and 33 runs batted in. The Phils were 11 games over .500 at 26-15. Since then, Werth is .236-4-17 in his 48 games with 55 strikeouts. And the Phillies are 22-29 in that span.

Today’s Leaderboard: Brandon Inge broke his hand in Monday's loss to the Rangers and he's expected to miss four to six weeks. Inge has been one of the most durable players at his position over the last two seasons. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he has started 241 games at third base since 2009, tying Evan Longoria for the highest total in the major leagues.


Key Matchup: Something has to give tonight in Los Angeles when the Giants and Dodgers face off. Giants ace Tim Lincecum is holding righthanded batters to a .202 batting average, tied for fourth-lowest in the majors. On the other hand, the Dodgers are hitting .271 against righthanded hurlers, sixth-best average in baseball.

Trivia Answer: Former major leaguer Alex Gonzalez (who played with Toronto, the Chicago Cubs, Tampa Bay, Montreal and Philadelphia) hit 137 career HR in 13 seasons. As a side note, Jackie Robinson finished his career with 137 home runs.

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